very poor


by Nosferatwo USER (43 Reviews)
June 7th, 2009 | 60 replies

Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another supergroup that's more group, less super.

The idea of a rock supergroup is more enticing as a thought experiment than it is a reality. There have been many examples over the years of big names coming together to salvage their careers with hype. In almost all of these instances, the results have been less than the sum of their parts. And yet, we continue to see these groups spring up, hoping to capture the spark of a group of musicians in the right place at the right time. Chickenfoot is not one of these groups.

Chickenfoot is constructed from pieces that don't look like they should fit together. Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony spent time together in the Mach II lineup of Van Halen, Chad Smith is the drummer of the funk/pop/rock group Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Joe Satriani is a guitar wizard known for his technical proficiency. That, and suing Coldplay for ripping him off. At first glance, these four men don't have much in common from a musical standpoint, but there is more beneath the surface than we have been shown.

The odd man out is obviously Satriani, a shredder by trade who's instrumental exercises helped create and advance the wave of masterful players who use their music as a means of communicating their abilities with their instrument. Satriani has always had a melodic flare that many of his followers have not, and Chickenfoot shows that he is a chameleon, able to move from genre to genre without missing a beat. The Satriani of Chickenfoot is not the Satriani that we have been shown before, leaving behind his indulgences, and delivering an album of bare bones classic rock.

Sammy Hagar shows that Eddie Van Halen picked the wrong man for the band's reunion, his voice as strong as it was in his heyday. For a man approaching 60, his power is amazing. He has the voice, but does not put it to the best use. Never a poet, his lyrics here are rudimentary and bordering on self-parody. Songs about women, partying, and falling asleep in front of the TV might be acceptable fodder for bands like Blink-182, but fall flat when coming from middle-aged rock stars. Hagar sells the songs as best he can, but with such little material to push, the effort goes for nothing. Satriani has reigned himself in, showing none of his usual flare, constructing every song from simple two-riff structures. With a running time approaching an hour, the repetitiveness of the backdrop becomes stale.

"Avenida Revolution" is an odd, but fitting, choice for an opener. The song eases in on a slow burn, teasing the riff before allowing it to grow. The riff is simple, reminiscent of the classic rock that dominated these men's youths. Satriani's guitar sounds massive, pumping out the riff in a vintage tone, setting the stage for Hagar. The song goes nowhere, the melodies stiff and lifeless. The chorus is almost non-existent, a problem that plagues the rest of the album.

Satriani tries to rescue the material, but cannot do it alone. "Soap On A Rope" has a bouncing groove-laden riff that marks the best moment of the album. "Sexy Little Thing" features a shimmering riff that chimes out a classic sound, while "Get It Up" sounds like a lost Stone Temple Pilots song, both musically and lyrically. The rest of the songs offer little that is new, retreading riffs that have been played a hundred times before, capping them off with Hagar's cliche phrasing. Nowhere do we get an indication of the talent this band possesses, each member seemingly playing down their strengths in an effort to blend in. Unfortunately, they blend so well that they become faceless.

The best song on the album is, without a doubt, "My Kind Of Girl", a retro rock stomper with Michael Anthony delivering his signature background vocals to reinforce the best hook on the album. Hagar sounds inspired for the first time, and it becomes clear why these men came together and formed the band. The energy is apparent, and as the song locks together, we catch a glimpse of why all supergroups form. For a few moments, this band has created something special that makes us forget about their pasts. It is simply great music.

Chickenfoot is a pleasing diversion on a summer day, but was doomed from the start. Living up to the reputations of its members was never going to be possible, and only makes the disappointment of the shortcoming more obvious. Chickenfoot may still become a great band one day, but they have a long way to go.

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Another supergroup that should've stayed retired....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
June 7th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with everything you said, it was a very good review. I don't agree with the rating though. 1.5 rating to me means this is total piece of crap that borders the unbearable. And this is not the case. Not damn close!

The album is EXTREMELY derivative, but it's a good album nevertheless. I'm very fond of Satriani's style and, unlike you said, I didn't feel his was not being himself. The cheesyness is there all the time. He's a proficient player, yes, but his material has always been straightforward and cliche as hell, in a weird and charming way.

It's not a great album, but it isn't a stinker either. A 3 rating is more reasonable, like, could you expect something different from this combination of stars? Hello no. It's exactly what I figured when they announced the project. Not a disappointment at all.

June 7th 2009


at one point i was going to check this out, but then gave up. guess this is what i was afraid of. oh well, might still give it a listen.

June 7th 2009


I Haven't heard the album, but rather saw them at the start of the tour a few weeks ago. I was never a fan of Satriani's excesses and therefore enjoyed hearing the scaled back version of him. I felt Chad Smith helped the sound have more groove than what you'd expect from the rest of the band, and while the music wasn't for me per se- anyone who still likes AC/DC and others from that era will have a new album they can enjoy.

June 7th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with a lot of what Markshell said. While the review was good, and I agree with some of the points you made, I think a 1.5 is way too low for this album. I definitely understand if you don't like it, but to me a 1.5 means there is not one good song on the record that's worth 5 minutes of your time.

This album has its weak points and its strong points like any other, and I found it a fun and enjoyable listen. The various members meshed surprisingly well for me. The one thing I would like more of is actual lyrics, though. Sammy Hagar could definitely contribute more to the songs, his voice is still amazing.

June 7th 2009


Heard a song on Conan and I wasn't very impressed. Didn't make me want to check out the rest.

Digging: Cowards (FR) - Rise to Infamy

June 7th 2009


would rather die than listen to this

June 7th 2009


Album Rating: 1.5

I think a 1.5 is way too low for this album. I definitely understand if you don't like it, but to me a 1.5 means there is not one good song on the record that's worth 5 minutes of your time.

No, a zero would imply there is not one good song on the record. The way I interpret the grading system, a 2.5 would be something perfectly average, which means that the 1.5 I gave Chickenfoot would be below average. That's exactly what I thought of the album, so I feel that the rating is appropriate. If things that I felt were below average still merited at least a 3, there would be nothing to ever get a low rating, and less room at the top to differentiate between the truly great albums.

June 7th 2009


Album Rating: 2.0

Quite terrible. The catchiness of the first few songs saves this from a 1

June 7th 2009


I was excited when I first heard the line-up... stupid me.

Very disappointing.

June 8th 2009


Disagree with this rating too...I think this album is pretty good. Not a classic, but pretty good.

June 8th 2009



June 8th 2009


I don't believe at all that this is 1.5 material, though I haven't heard it.

Regardless, I'm getting this for my dad since he loves Van Halen and Satch
He's not on Sputnik so he'll probably enjoy this

June 8th 2009


Album Rating: 2.0

it's basically satch's b-sides mixed with hagar's signature shit lyrics

June 8th 2009


Sounds perfect

June 11th 2009


There is absolutely no correlation between the review and the rating.

June 11th 2009


Really glad to see a review for this but a 1.5? holy hell. I'll probably pick this up 2morrow and have a listen, If heard it sounds very 80's so it'll probably give me a much needed hard rock fix.

June 11th 2009


Album Rating: 2.0

"it's basically satch's b-sides mixed with hagar's signature shit lyrics"


June 17th 2009


Album Rating: 1.0

Yes, alligator. This album received an extremely low rating. Therefore you should purchase it.

Yeah my dad keeps going on about how terrible this is.

June 21st 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

I am horrified with this review rating. Espeacially after the good review. @ least a 5 if not a 6. "My Kinda Girl" will make this band skyrocket to stardom, you just watch.

Sound like a jealous DLR fan to me. Hagar and the band ROCK !


June 21st 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

You have to give a listen, great Rock and Roll !

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